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Volume 4998

Jairo Uparella and Adrianita Garavito Rozo
(Jai & Neetah)

In the field of modern fiction, people can choose the means by which they want to read a story. It may be a novel, abstract or an article. In the audiovisual or cinematographic field it can be by watching a video or film of the respective subject. In the world of comics, through plane drawings that allow readers to perceive what happened in a novel or narrative, or simply following the imagination of the artist or writer, we find a scenography that supports the overall picture as well as the main characters. Not only does this make them more attractive, but also such elements provide an identification, a name, and in many cases, a story.

Tarzan of the Apes is not an exception, but on the contrary, is the first model of comic that follows the adventures of the lord of the jungle. Artists help in this role by implementing not only the character but the scenery surrounding it. Such is the case of the trees in the forest, lost lands and in general natural environments.

In addition, many objects, utensils, weapons, tools and even art pieces are used to decorate the stage and add interest and clarity to the narrative. A piece of art that is drawn in a comic should express the vital part of what happens in the story. This is how we want to highlight some models that appeared in the comics of one of the great artists -- Russ Manning.

Entering the Claytons' house in the estate of Uziri, the variety of items, furniture, ornaments and utensils that are seen in it are innumerable. In addition to all of this are libraries full of books of all kinds. Appropriately, one of the elements that supports a number of books is an elephant, probably made of metal such as bronze, which in the company of another elephant or another support, can be very appealing to have in the home.

Other decorations found in the dining room and kitchen of the house correspond to vessels and fruit baskets adorning the table. They are probably made of a ceramic or clay and many are filled with plastic models or real fruit. These are not out of place in many homes, where tables in hallways or corridors are decorated with vases of flowers and fruit.

African ceramics are an essential part of the artistic heritage of the African continent, which for domestic use are produced by women. Many also have a specific ritual purpose, which are produced by the men. They are used to store beverages and cereals, food preparation or decoctions of medicinal plants, as well as the storing of personal items.

The comic book artist, in his arduous task of drawing, must of course have an extensive and clear understanding of history in general and especially in complex cultures such as African. It seems that on this continent everything is art, and this is how the greatest legends are created to give that touch of mystery fiction to films.

Known in the East from the ninth millennium B.C., these pieces of art and their processing techniques entered the Sahara by means of the arrival of hunters who travelled to Africa in search of fertile land. The mud with which they are produced is extracted from open sky quarries or the beds of rivers near villages. Various techniques for modeling are used by hand and on the lathe. Some ethnic groups use a mold to create vessels.

The ruins of Opar and other beautiful places reveal a great cultural seniority within the novels, and in comics we find many ceramics and goldsmith art which today may be desired by the largest collectors.

The baking of pottery and other techniques for shine are employed in the work to shape jugs, plates and other utensils. Of course, in the Clayton home, wood shelves are adorned with these valuable pieces that shine alone. The truth is that many of these dishes came from other lands and were traded in Africa.

Dishes in the bedroom of La, Queen of Opar

The anthropomorphic figurines modeled in clay or wood are attractive and also have been well drawn in the comics. These models represent a mythological creature, an African deity or a normal person and of course the history that defines them in many cases corresponds to everything related to the creation of life and man on earth.

The mask for example, is the greatest artistic expression of black culture. Not only do such masks represent an ideology or a religious myth, but they also express symbolic values as justice, death, life, danger, among others. They acquire the most varied forms of animals like elephant, buffalo or leopard, expressing combat, courage and survival. Many masks are characterized by very sharp features in the eyes, nose and mouth. In others, they give the symbolic colours like white, black or red.

Mask for Rituals and Witchcraft

Actual models of African art

In some regions, they have ability for making furniture for living and dining rooms. These are made of some sort of cane, typically glazed bamboo, and reinforced with strong vegetable fiber. The great furniture used for resting at Clayton's home, surrounded by all these "antiques," seems to be a perfect way of life for those who love nature. Despite the years that have gone by, such furniture and ornamentation are still decorating the homes of many families worldwide.

Throughout history we have learned to identify people by their artistic work and in this case, a multicultural African continent. The Egyptian figures demarcate a distinctive culture. These forms of art from the vicinity of the Nile provide a great influence on the  decorating of a living room or an office. Many pieces of this style have also found their way to museums where many people can appreciate them and learn about different civilizations. Within the comics it is also possible to learn about these cultures -- they give life to the stories that have been virtually developed in these beautiful places.

Sokar, God of the Underworld

Another artistic appeal, presumably from art styles from the former Atlantis, is found in the halls and rooms at Opar. The form of recessed shelves carved into rock walls, is perhaps one of the oldest art forms of humanity. This shelf can be adorned with candlesticks, vases or other items.

In the Halls of Opar

 Definitely the comic is a great way to highlight those cultural beauties that perhaps by other means is not easy to appreciate. Each artist can capture the reality of the story combined with the fiction, but also can provide the reader with enriched theory and the events that occurred there.



Just a Tarzan Fan
Jairo Uparella
ERBzine 2114
An Introduction 
Prelude to the
Mangani Project 
ERBzine 2112
The Uparella
Mangani Project
ERBzine 2113
Jairo Uparella
ERBzine 3560
The Sounds of
 Spoken Mangani
by Jairo Uparella
ERBzine 2307


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